A Florida-based Christian publisher is working on a 12-volume, 2,000-page graphic version of the Bible that the publisher says will become the "Marvel" of the faith market and be the most complete graphic adaptation of the Bible ever done.
"Each volume is a rich narrative sequentially illustrated to teach and explain the major stories and themes in the Bible in a historical and chronological manner," says its publisher Kingstone.
The first four volumes will be launched this year, comprising Old Testament books from Genesis to Judges. The remaining volumes are expected to be released in 2014.
Kingstone Chief Executive Art Ayris told The Guardian they would like to become "the 'Marvel' of the faith market," and their new Bible version will be "a centerpiece for us in our offerings."
"The Bible is continually the best-selling book of all time," said Ayris, who has a background in film and television production. "The Bible series on the History Channel was just the top-rated cable program ever. We suspect The Kingstone Bible … will be an evergreen product in the marketplace."
Ayris added he is surprised to find "Bible illiteracy" in the general culture as well as among those who regularly attend church. "I felt there needed to be both a graphic bridge and a chronological structure to help (especially the younger ones) to grasp and understand the major themes of the Bible," he said. "Most of our artists have worked with Marvel and DC so when these kids get hold of this sizzling art it assists in bringing life and understanding to the Biblical text."
Kingstone has found that particularly boys can be reluctant readers of the Bible. "We are a pretty testosterone-driven publishing company so these comics and graphic novels are pretty adept at catching their attention and drawing them into the story… Comics are pretty transcultural so they can help people in making sense of the text," Ayris said.
"Comics are booming as well as Christian themes in entertainment," Ayris earlier said in a statement. "Anywhere you want to look-TV and Internet shows, movies, books . . . The Bible as the No. 1 rated cable show, or the growing line of faith-based movies. Now – why not comics? Randy Alcorn is a leading Christian writer, and now Eternity not only raises the bar but introduces Randy to a new demographic."
Kingstone's history dates back to 2005, when Ayris produced the film "The Touch," about an anguished woman who finds peace in God's ministry.